Books and Movies Reviews

Their Eyes Were Watching God

A Journey To Find Oneself: Janie's search for her identity:
In the novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God", Zora Neale Hurston uses one of her characters, Janie, to represent women's struggles in the early 20th century. Janie goes through many hardships throughout her life, before she finally has the opportunity to find herself, and gain the self confidence she had lacked before. From the time period when she was a young girl, living with her grandmother, throughout the different relationships she had been in, her character represents what the black woman slave might possibly have gone through. Janie's character struggles to find herself throughout the novel, and hides her true self behind submission in her relationship with her grandmother and in her marital life, just as Brett Ashley, from "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway, lacks knowing who she is by living her life, hiding behind liquor, and getting "tight".
When Janie was a little girl, living with her grandmother at a white family's house, she discovered that she was dark–skinned, and that her features did not compare to the people around her. "Ah couldn't recognize dat dark chile as me. So ah ast,'where is me? Ah don't see me'" (Hurston 9). At this time in her life, she longed to find out why she was different, and who she really was.
Janie's grandmother, Nanny, was always very protective of Janie, attempting to save her from any harm that she might ever receive. Being as how Janie's mother and grandmother had both been raped before, Nanny wanted to prevent the same thing from happening to Janie. The one thing Nanny repeatedly pestered Janie about, was marriage,
possibly because then, Janie would have the chance to prevent the pattern of rape in their family history. Marriage also gave Janie the opportunity to attain some of her identity.

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